Written by Katinka Lennemann, Data Evaluation Intern

Although the true origins of the lemon haven’t been determined, many people link them to come from northeast India, where they were lauded for their medicinal properties. Christopher Columbus was said to have brought lemon seeds over to the Americas during the Coloumbian exchange, where they are widely grown in California, Arizona, and Florida today. California in particular has a huge citrus growing industry in the Central Valley and Southern California, where lemon trees enjoy warmer climates and continuous growth. [1] 

Like many fruits, lemons have a wide variety of nutrients, most notably being Vitamin C, as well as helping provide dietary fiber, citric acid, and antioxidants. [2] Lemons are also heralded as being good for colds, such as when paired with honey or ginger in hot water. In the past, it was also used on long sailing journeys to prevent sailors from getting scurvy [1]

Given all of its nutritional and medicinal value, growing a lemon tree can be a great way to add a pop of color to your backyard through its bright yellow fruit and also add to your diet. Another tip: extra lemons can be left on the tree without ill effect for a few weeks as well, and they also keep well in the fridge if not being used. [3] 

Furthermore, the lemon juice can be used to make a variety of foods, such as lemon curds, pies, and bars. The peel of the lemon can also be grated into foods for an extra zesty kick or as a garnish for drinks. You can also take the juice from surplus lemons, and freeze them into ice cubes to be used whenever a recipe calls for them. Check out the recipes below for more lemon ideas!


[1] Morton, Julia. Fruits of Warm Climates. 1987, p. 160–168, Miami, FL. https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/lemon.html.

[2] “Health Benefits of Lemon.” WebMD, 2022.  https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-lemon

[3] Turner, Debra. “How to Grow a Lemon Tree Outdoors.” SFGate, 2019. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/grow-lemon-tree-outdoors-59458.html

[4] Рогожников, Лев. “Tea with Lemon and Slice of Cake on a Plate.” 2022, Pexels. https://www.pexels.com/photo/tea-with-lemon-and-slice-of-cake-on-a-plate-11922462/.

[5] Collier, Sommer. “Greek Lemon Chicken Soup Recipe (Video).” A Spicy Perspective, 12 Oct. 2020, https://www.aspicyperspective.com/greek-lemon-chicken-soup/

[6] “Lemon Curd.” Epicurious, Epicurious, 18 Mar. 2022, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/lemon-curd-104568

[7] Porta, Megan. “How to Make Candied Lemon Slices.” Pip and Ebby, 24 Dec. 2020, https://pipandebby.com/pip-ebby/candied-lemon-slices/

[8] “Meyer Lemon Rice with Candied Garlic from Michael W. Twitty Recipe on food52.” Food52, Food52, 8 May 2021, https://food52.com/recipes/85417-meyer-lemon-rice-with-candied-garlic-recipe


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